According to statistics, 2 billion people around the world consume alcohol. And, over 76 million are affected by alcohol use disorders, including alcohol abuse and dependence.
Alcohol abuse is a serious issue which can lead to chronic health problems, such as cancer and liver disease. It’s been linked to increased incidences of depression and suicide. And, it causes 1.8 million deaths each year.
Despite having potentially deadly consequences, it’s not always obvious when someone has a drinking problem. Some people who suffer from alcoholism continue to function, hiding their destructive habits from others for months, or even years.
Functional alcoholic symptoms can be harder to spot in a friend, family member or co-worker. But, don’t be fooled.
Even though an alcoholic may be able to maintain employment, attend appointments, and perform additional daily tasks, it doesn’t mean that alcohol isn’t taking its’ toll in other ways.
Knowing how to recognize the signs and symptoms of functional alcoholism could make all the difference in the life of a loved one. Read on to learn how you can spot important warning signs that might even help to save the life of someone you love!
Would You Recognize Functional Alcoholic Symptoms If Someone You Loved Was Suffering?
Unfortunately, many functional alcoholics are able to “fly under the radar” of their loved ones for months, or even years, after they’ve developed a drinking problem. Perhaps, they’ve figured out how to maintain their daily drinking habit while keeping their job or caring for their kids. They might even pay all of their bills on time, managing to escape the financial troubles faced by other alcoholics.
Sometimes, we choose to turn our heads to our loved ones’ alcoholism, so long as it doesn’t cause too many disturbances in their lives or the lives of those surrounding them. All the while, we may not realize that we’re actually doing them more harm than good.
It can be tempting to take the easy way out, dodging conflict with a friend or family member who drinks too much. But, in the long run, chances are that you will both pay the price of functional alcoholism and the consequences you’ve sought to avoid.
Untreated alcoholism can only lead to bigger problems down the road. As time goes on, and alcoholic symptoms worsen, it often becomes more difficult to deny a drinking problem. But by then, the consequences are likely to have begun increasing as well.
Why wait for someone you care about to lose their job, their kids, or, worst of all, their life?
If you notice any of these functional alcoholic symptoms in a friend or loved one, the time to get help is now.
Symptoms & Signs to Watch For
The signs and symptoms of functional alcoholics can further complicate an already complicated issue. Often, these types of alcoholics discover how to hide their alcohol abuse. And, they learn how to manipulate others into denying that they have a drinking problem at all.
In many cases, the support of family and friends can motivate an alcoholic to seek help. But, in other cases, waiting to approach a loved one’s alcoholism can prove to be too late.
Have you noticed the following symptoms of functional alcoholism in someone you love?
- They might face legal problems due to drinking
- He or she may hide alcohol or deny drinking
- They might ask you to make excuses for their drinking to employers, friends or acquaintances
- When you approach them about drinking, they may become angry
- They are increasingly late to obligations or begin skipping them altogether
- They require medications or other substances to get through the day
- Despite their promises to stop, or requests made by others, they cannot quit drinking
- You begin to notice physical symptoms of alcoholism, including tremors, upset stomach, facial redness, or excessive sleepiness
- You often smell alcohol on their skin, breath or clothes
These are just some of the symptoms that you might notice in a functional alcoholic. Sometimes, its’ simply a gut instinct that alarms you when someone you love is drinking too much.
If you are unsure, it’s best to contact a treatment center, such as Palm Springs Rehab Center, to discuss your concerns. Trained addiction specialists can help you determine what you should do to help the one you love.
The Importance of Self-Care
No matter what a loved one might be facing, it’s important that you practice self-care at all times. When you’re healthy, you are better prepared to deal with a loved one’s functional alcoholic symptoms.
Check out our website for more tips on how to take care of yourself in times of stress!